“Iron Man, locate this. Iron Man, destroy this. Iron Man, kill this. And while you’re at it, make me a cup of coffee.” So says Tony Stark’s irritating computer Jarvis in Sega’s mind-numbing DS release of Iron Man (Jarvis doesn’t actually say this verbatim, but his requests eventually begin to feel like mom’s constant nagging). And while you’re trying to get Jarvis off your ass by doing what he says, you’re thrown a sloppy serving of lackluster controls which hinders Iron Man from being an otherwise playable action game.
The game enables you to use both the buttons and touchscreen simultaneously, so unless you are a multi-limbed individual, you must use your thumb instead of the stylus. If you’ve got small hands, constantly reaching between the buttons and the touchscreen could be more cumbersome than it’s worth. On the other hand, those with bigger hands could find it difficult to accurately tap the touchscreeen with their thumbs.
Upon beginning the first mission, it’s easy to get discouraged. Iron Man’s moves are very limited in quantity, and worse, mobility. The game starts you off with only the flamethrower and Melee Charge Attack. The flamethrower only allows you to shoot diagonally below you no matter where you aim. Every time you try to eliminate enemies, you must go around them and shoot your flamethrower behind them. Otherwise, you’ll end up shooting nothing behind you and look a little short of a hero. On the bright side, the Melee Charge Attack can be activated by pressing A. Or B. …or X, or Y. Or by tapping the bottom-left corner of your touchscreen. Really, just throw a rock on your DS to use Melee Charge Attack.
Above: The other way, Iron Man, the other way!!!
Thankfully, after the completion of each mission, you get to spend points acquired to upgrade your suit’s weapons which make the game a little more playable. Soon enough, you get to fly around as Iron Man, but the gameplay is a little reminiscent of Geometry Wars gone bad. While you can fire your repulsors in any direction as you’re flying around, the game inaccurately reads your shots causing you to miss your target even when it looks like you’re shooting directly at it on-screen.
Iron Man has a few good points. It has a decent plot and bearable voice acting during cutscenes, but it doesn’t compensate for all of the game’s drawbacks. Getting past the faulty controls will get you a decent story, but Iron Man has little to no replay value, no multiplayer, and is just another forgettable game-based-on-the-movie type.
May 5, 2008